MARQUETTE - Who knew a recycled piece of cloth could have meaning?
Joy Bender Hadley, a teacher at North Star Academy in Marquette Township, is taking part in the Community 100DayProject in which participants work on an artistic endeavor every day for 100 consecutive days.
Her project is a series of connected pieces of decorated cloth, or "spirit flags," that are similar to Nepalese prayer flags.
Anne Stark, left, and Joy Bender Hadley, art teacher at North Star Academy in Marquette Township, look at Hadley’s spirit flags she’s creating as part of the Community 100DayProject. (Journal photo by Christie Bleck)
Hadley began the project on the 100DayProject kickoff date of Jan. 21.
Her flag art is new for her.
"I've not done much of fabric," Hadley said. "But I'm experimenting."
Each flag, created with recycled fabric, is painted with a variety of patterns and iron-on transfers. They are connected with a ribbon and now are being held together by tiny clothespins.
"Sometimes I don't know exactly where I'm going with them," Hadley said.
She does know, she pointed out, that each flag will have a title.
"I'm hoping to have 50 by the end of 100 days, but I certainly wouldn't complain if I had more," Hadley said.
Sabrina Wheeler, a North Star student teacher and a Northern Michigan University senior majoring in art education with a minor in math education, is creating a "silly face series" for the 100DayProject.
One is an oil painting of herself.
"They're all just goofy faces," Wheeler said. "I don't have a plan of how many I want to finish."
However, Wheeler acknowledged she simply wanted to work in art.
"When I was taking classes, I rarely did art unless it was for a particular class," she said.
Anne Stark, a North Star parent, is completing a Zentangle project.
"I don't consider myself a real artist, so I'm taking this to a whole different level," Stark said.
Zentangle is an activity in which meditation is combined with "doodling" and drawing patterns on a square measuring 3 by 3 inches.
"It really does give you a break in a day, because you're concentrating on this 3--inch-by-3--inch square," Stark said.
Her favorite squares, she noted, are the "organic" pieces with plant life.
A 100DayProject doesn't necessarily have to revolve around art.
Liz Cissell, a Title I teacher at North Star, is creating a book that will test reading skills.
"I'm going to make a series of stories starting with the short vowel sounds," Cissell said.
A cat, for example, is described this way: "He looks a tad mad."
Although words are a focus in Cissell's work, she said she plans to put in illustrations, although the goal of her stories is to add an element of suspense.
Ann Russ, a local artist who is helping to spearhead the Community 100DayProject, said, "Somewhere along the line, many of us lose touch with our creativity. There can be many reasons for this."
However, she acknowledged more than 165 people, or "arters," are involved in the project, some of them using ecological themes.
Marquette's Diane Raven, Russ said, is exploring ways of transforming the Lake Superior watershed landscape into a visual form using photography, pen-and-ink and watercolor. Mike Loeffler, who lived in Houghton but moved to Minneapolis, is exploring bird forms to inspire later wood carvings, she said, while Tammy Wills of Marquette is using only recycled materials for her project.
According to Russ, Carrie Biolo, also of Marquette, is creating a "sonic time capsule" and exploring the ecology of sound in and around Marquette, using five-minute recordings.
A celebration in which 100DayProject participants can display their work is scheduled for 3 to 5 p.m. May 17 at the Ore Dock Brewing Company, 114 W. Spring St.
For more information on the project, visit The100DayProject.com or visit the group's Facebook page.
Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250.